This week, thank the Lord, has been a much better homeschooling experience than the last. After wrestling with our routine for the first week, I decided to take a different approach with James for the second - more 'hands off' (ie. less bossing from me). I let James choose what he wanted to do, play, read, and watch, making some gentle suggestions along the way, but not pushing anything. And two things happened. One, we both relaxed, which made a huge difference to our ability to communicate and have fun, and two, we actually got some stuff done!
Contrary to my fears that all James would want to do would be to play with Star Wars lego morning, noon and night, he actually surprised me by choosing to spend time listening to The Gruffalo story on CD (a firm fave in our house - thanks Auntie Lou!), watching the brilliant BBC animation that was on TV a couple of Christmasses ago, and then making plans to put on a house performance with Daniel as the mouse, Karl as the Gruffalo and James playing all the other parts (I'm the narrator). We had a 'planning meeting' on Thursday to plan the cast, costumes and set design. We're going to get the materials, make costumes and set pieces and practise the performance during the coming week, film it next weekend (for you lucky people, and for the express purpose of embarrassing James on his 18th birthday, hehe), and perform it for friends and family in half-term (they get no choice in the matter - tough pants!).
What a difference a week makes. We are all smiles here once again. For now.
(Check out the excellent Gruffalo website here.)